Letting Go: Of Needing Other’s Approval

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As mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been on a journey to contact academics in the field who are doing research on Anorexia and finding similar themes as I cover in my upcoming memoir: Food Memories.

So far I’ve heard nothing.

But that isn’t stopping me. Today I sent out two more emails to co-authors and am persisting with a hopeful heart. Yet what I am learning is that this process has less to do with whether they approve of me and more about the journey of finding my voice and a way to describe and validate my perspective–to myself. In crafting these emails and queries and proposal letters, I have found my ideas and sense-of-self becoming more solid, more real, and like the foundation which I might stand firmly on for the rest of my life.

And in the midst of waiting-not-waiting for said approval, I’ve found some helpful guides in writing proposals, and have been hacking away at that. Again I find this process incredibly interesting and facilitating a sort of self-building I wasn’t expecting. I had previously intended to write this memoir, to self-publish it and release it quietly into the interwebs, seeing what happened. I didn’t really want to appear strongly in the equation, to yodel egoically from the mountaintop about my woes. Blech. Yet in this process I am finding I have something to say, possibly words to help others with, and that others are agreeing with that, generally. But again, I’m finding what’s most important is sense of self-building and self-approval to be the unexpected boon.

Anorexia is partially a literal and metaphorical journey to erase oneself, and reflects much about how one is influenced by a culture which consciously and unconsciously encourages that behavior, whether by diet culture or the many ways we are told to minimize our soul’s greatness in the world. In my efforts of trying to explain my story to others I have found that I am rebelling against the very spell that started it all for me. I am showing up, I am speaking my truth, I am aiming to connect with others and share what helped me, confused me, how I made it and continue to make it through these complexities. I am not hiding. I am not silent.

What a terrifying journey! Yet ultimately it is the kind of edgy one I am propelled by–just terrifying enough to push me into new and supportive arenas found after facing fears. It is in this light I continue to send queries to editors, researchers, and from where I try to share about my memoir. To wake myself up, to help others rise from their own slumber, to find that we are not alone, and that we might just matter regardless of the crazy, fucked up journeys and thoughts we might have had.

So I’m letting go of needing to hear back from these people I’m contacting, although part of me of course hopes to have some sort of response. My point is that I’m not letting the lack of response keep me from showing up in the world, from continuing to trudge forward in my attempts to find places to share my story and from discovering to myself what my story really is. And I hope, if you can relate to anything I’m saying, that you will also not let other’s approval of you keep you from putting your Soul’s howl out into the world. I want to hear all of our howls echoing across the valleys, calling us home. Calling us home.

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